A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Who Was That Masked Man? And THE FABRIC!

Darth Vader in my garden? Nope. Frost protection. We got our first frost yesterday. We're having ANOTHER one today. So it's tarps and blankets and frantic cover-ups every afternoon. Sue will do a LOT to protect her precious Brandywines.




The flowers by the house were spared. You can see the yard beyond is well coated.





Pumpkin Vines-- Um-not so good.








No more cukes. And I'm GLAD.




Oh, poor basil. Black is SO not you!!



Why do I not seem upset? Because we had a WHOPPING 96 frost free days this year---a full ELEVEN days more than last year. I am thrilled! Those of you with "normal" growing times can't begin to imagine how hard it is to get things like tomatoes and peppers . And I'm not going to even justify some of those short season tomatoes. I like Brandywines. 90 days. And I got it!!



:D






Now then. I have gotten sooooooo many questions about the Agribon fabric that I used on my potatoes/broccoli/cauliflower and strawberries.



And first off ------I DO NOT HAVE ANY (ANY!!!!) affiliation with the company. It's just the one I chose to use. And I only brag it up because IT WORKS. I hate sounding like a commercial.



I dislike product endorsements.....but if something works, and works WELL--I'll shout it from the rooftops.



(and likewise-if something SUCKS ((like HughesNET)) I will tell you that also!)






So--I got the Agribon 15 from Johnny's Selected Seeds. Please don't tell me if it's cheaper somewhere else or blah blah blah. This is just where I ordered it from. Here's the link.









I bought the 118" x 250 ft roll---$47.50.



Expensive? Heck yea! BUT---so is MY time and it's MY food and it WORKS.



I am also incredibly cheap. It's so much cheaper buying a roll this size than the 50ft roll. I have a LIFETIME supply of it now.....for less than fifty bucks. Well worth it to eat broccoli without worms. A tiny price to get to eat ALL my strawberries---instead of the birds getting them






Sorry to be "commercial-y". It's good stuff.



Have a WONDERFUL week--I'm going to go clean up dead stuff. Haha--no more cucumbers!!



45 comments:

  1. FROST? Oh my goodness, I can't even imagine! You have a great attitude about it all. Hope the sun is shining on you today!

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  2. Well commercial or not ,now you deserve a free treat from this co.And as you have said your self ,you had a very successful year and not to be out done by that gorgeous flower garden that belongs in better homes and garden magazine. I TOLD YOU BEFORE THAT MY NEIGHBOR HAS A SIMILAR GARDEN BUT I SHOWED HER YOURS ,SHE WAS IN AWE

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  3. Thank you Sue for sharing the link with us! I'm going to check it out and probably order some, too. I've never been able to grow any kind of cabbage because of worms and caterpillars and the strawberries always fall prey to whitefly and bugs. Frost already??? I thought waking up to below 60 temps these last two days was bad.

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  4. I wish I new about this stuff when I had my garden. Darth Vader in your garden?! Use the force Sue...We are still full time campers...its been raining the last three days. But the gardener in me knows we need it.

    With All That I Am
    Carrie "Forrest-Dweller" Duvall
    The Handmade Homemaker - The Bee's Knees

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  5. Ooo...Thanks for the fabric tip! That's on my list of "to-do's" for next year for sure. I can't BELIEVE you've had a frost already!!! Do you have a greenhouse? I think I'd HAVE to if I lived where you do.

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  6. Happy first frost to you. Ours will be coming very soon, I'm sure! :) I'm glad the fabric worked so well for you. And I don't think you sound commercially at all. I would rather hear it from a real person (YOU!) than someone who has been paid to say it!

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  7. First frost...wow! It's pretty foul weather here right now but we generally don't get frost until December, thankfully. Good luck and I look forward to reading more of your gardening exploits :)

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  8. Daisy-thanks! I'm tired of cukes, so yes-I'm in a "sunny" mood!!
    :)

    Judy-I'm gonna need a pin to pop my swollen head from all your nice comments! Thank you!

    Anke-you'll love your cabbage hole-free! But, if you do cover the cabbage-where the fabric touches the cabbage it will look kinda yucky. It helps to put something there to raise it up a bit.

    Forest Dweller-never too late. You'll garden again some day!!

    Tami-I want a greenhouse so bad it hurts. No, I don't have one, but I'm hinting to wonder-hubby. And hinting. And hinting!!
    :D

    Mama Tea-thank you! At least I get the first SOMETHING around here--even if it is frost. You're next on the list! Beware!

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  9. Hey Sue, how do you really feel about HughesNet? hehehee You crack me up!

    Our nights have been getting much cooler. 40s, but that's close enough for me for now. This has been the wonkiest year ever. Thanks for the tip on the fabric. I think this year however, I'm just gonna let it fade off into the sunset and not shed one single tear ;)

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  10. Tanya-December? My gosh. Lucky Gal!! But, then again maybe not. I'm REALLY tired of cucumbers!
    :D

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  11. APG--my gosh, after this year, I'm surprised you're not in the nuthouse. You have the greatest attitude I've ever seen. A GOLD STAR for you. And a heap of good wishes for a better year next year!!
    Hugaroos for all the smiles!

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  12. You're not a commercial, just a gardening friend sharing. Thanks for the info. The nice thing about light frosts is that they slowly edit the garden down in the fall. There is still tons to enjoy. Basil always seems to go first.

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  13. Frost, wow! It's back in the 90's again here and really humid, yuck!

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  14. Nope, Mama Tea, you won't be next to get smacked by Jack Frost . . . I will be! We've had "warnings" but nothing close to a killing frost yet.

    Sue, I am pulling out my Johnny's catalog today and ordering the Agribon. As far as I'm concerned, there could be no better recommendation than yours. To never find a worm in my broccoli again? HEAVEN! Do you just drape the Agribon over the tall broccoli plants?

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  15. *chuckle* love this post...and I love it when folks share what works for them. and after taking another looksie at your flower bed, I'm wishing I'd picked up some of those sedums that were on final clearance!

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  16. Thanks so much for the great link on the frost barrier fabric. We use it here but pay a lot more than the price you found. We have several pieces with some being the thinner insect barrier type and others being the heavier cold protection type. To be able to buy a big roll like you did offers a good savings and we will sure be ordering it here for next season. Next season??!! Hard to believe that this season is about done!! We had frost last week but had things covered and now the weather is hot again.

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  17. Gardener on Sherlock-That's a really nice way to look at fall-edited. I shall remember that. And the first delete was the ones I was most tired of so that works well!

    Erin-Oh no! Is there no end? I'm sure you're keeping busy though now that you are Kid-Free!
    Woo-hoo!--as my friend Mary would say! Stay outta mischief!
    :)

    Mama Pea-I've sent you an email. Enjoy broccoli without the added , um, protein..........
    :D

    Dmarie-you must NEVER pass up a bargain plant. I once got 5 Salvia's for 77 cents . I had no room for them. Ha. Now those original 5 are like 20 plants....and I'm not done digging!!!

    2Tramps-wild temperature swings. Yup -it has to be fall! And you have the heavier fabric that I'm wanting now. The one I have is great for insects by soooo paper thin. Maybe by next spring Don will forget I just got a roll and I can get by ordering the heavyweight stuff!
    :D

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  18. Wonder hubby put up a greenhouse here 2 summers ago. .tomatos haven't done great in it yet. this winter we're trying new tactics. .As a very dedicated gardener. .it would be WELL worth your while. .remind Don about how much uncorrupted time off from projects HE would get if YOU were in your greenhouse :-)If I can be of any assistance, please let me know. .my eyes are really big. .and brown. .I can do sad puppy faces ;-) Enjoyed your photos!

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  19. Oh, how sad to see the frost killing those plants so early in September.

    Do you think that Agribon fabric would work to throw over a cherry tree to protect from the birds? I planted two cherry trees a few years ago, but have never gotten a cherry (sour) as the birds eat every single one before I even notice that they are ripe!

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  20. OH NO, it is too early for frost. I do not want to think of cold weather and winter. I am glad that the fabric is working for you. I hope you get even more frost free days next year. Have a great day.

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  21. Melanie-you crack me up. I'll let you know if those "sad puppy eyes" are needed. LOL!!

    Zoey-I'm sure the Agribon would do the trick, but the problem would be getting it up and over the tree without snagging 43 million holes in it.
    Sit out there with a flyswatter! I used one on Mrs. Robin!
    :D

    Eileen-Thanks for the wishes for the longer season. We'll see if it works!!
    :)

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  22. You have to be joking....don't you. I have cloths on some of my plants and it's for protection against the blasting sun and heat. We are miles apart!

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  23. Lancashire-Yes, miles apart, but I still enjoy looking at your pretties, and I can still get great ideas. Just goes to show--gardeners endure all sorts of things and still keep gardening. Enjoy the day!

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  24. FROST, where has the summer gone. That means it's time for fall cleanup. I am so not ready. Poor basil. Black it not it's color for sure. Hope you get it all done!

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  25. Lorie-I know what you mean. The clean up is always hard to do---it was such a short time ago I planted.

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  26. Frost? Yeesh. I am sure we will get it soon. I won't miss my zucchini plant, let me tell you. I am ordering, too. It is always so helpful to have someone who has tried it out posting the results. Saves time/money/aggravation. I love the "outfit" on your Brandywine...

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  27. Susan-Hi! The Brandywine is about the most stylishly dressed thing out here. It's certainly not ME! LOL!!

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  28. thanks for the link, Sue! Would you say the rowcover is better than tulle? I have torn the tulle to bits, it seems so fragile!
    Did you ever remember where you got the zinnia seed that did so well for ya?

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  29. Sissy-I'm sending you an email about the seeds and tulle

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  30. Sissy-I'm sending you an email about the seeds and tulle

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  31. Yep summer is finally here and hanging around longer than normal in the Pacific NW. We are breaking records in the 80s and I, like you, welcome it as I have a truckload of green tomatoes begging to be sun ripened. It may just happen this year, Alleluia!

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  32. Tall Clover--nothing beats them vine ripened. I will save a few green if I HAVE to, but I sure don't enjoy them as much!!

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  33. Well, you sure have a good attitude about the frost. I guess there really is a difference between zones 4 and 5.

    I am like you, in that I don't advertise, but I have given recommendations based on how I like something before. My garden is much smaller than yours, so I'll have to see what all sizes that comes in. Thanks for letting us know where you got it, and the size you got.

    I hope you don't get any more frost for awhile.

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  34. No frost here yet, but that's a big yet, believe me. Any day now. That fabric cover sure does look like a great product, we're going to have to check into it for next season. The garden is still looking wonderful, Sue, even with Darth Vader hanging around!

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  35. CG Sue-I have a good attitude about frost because it means I'm done with the vegetables that I'm getting tired of -cukes, zuchinnis-
    My flowers are okay because of all the rocks, etc. So now-I can concentrate on ENJOYING the garden. Love it!

    Karen, I'm sure you must be getting close to frost. Your place is looking so fabulous this time of year, but I imagine you guys are starting to get a little "tired" of all the work too. You've moved a LOT of rocks this year!
    :)

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  36. What's all this nasty talk of frost....I'm also in zone 4. I have my fingers crossed that my Moonflower vines blossom before the first frost. Big fat buds, but they haven't opened yet.

    donna

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  37. I agree! If a product works, I recommend it and shout about it from the roof-tops! But if I get burned by false advertising, I shout out a warning to all who will listen!

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  38. Donna-you know it's coming. I hope you get to see those blooms open. I know ours is always this time of year, followed by WEEKS of gorgeous weather. Sometimes I wish I could put a "bubble" over us............

    Ron-same here. I hate when something is promoted as good and it ends up being junk. Have a great weekend!

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  39. Oh that evil five letter word frost. We have a short season here in Maine but no frost just yet. They are talking about frost tonight but the warm water of the lake will protect the garden for now. But soon, very soon...the garden will be just a sweet memory.

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  40. BRJ-All the areas surrounded by the Great Lakes here have very late frost dates, but lucky (haha) me--I live far inland and we get early frosts in fall and very late freezes in spring. I guess I should have figured that out BEFORE we moved here-LOL!

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  41. I am a big fan of Brandywines, too...

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  42. Sorry to hear about the killer frost :( Unfortunate. Jared was looking forward to picking out a pumpkin too!

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  43. Oh my, such an early frost, I would be disheartened! We aren't due for another month or so, thank goodness. I had a hummer appear right in front of my face one day too, it was amazing!

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  44. Rose--you have EXCELLENT taste!!
    :)

    Josh-And your temps are still.......OMG. Blech!
    Now go kiss that fine grandson of mine and tell him Oma loves him!!

    MsRobin-I do envy your longer growing time, that's for sure!! Thanks for stopping by-I appreciate it!
    :)

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  45. Wow...that's crazy...it's hard to imagine frost already!

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